Carlingwark Loch, Castle Douglas

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Carlingwark Loch, Castle Douglas

Carlingwark Loch is a large inland freshwater loch on the edge of Castle Douglas. The loch is partially zoned for recreational use. There is a circular footpath encompassing the wider area, which includes a wildlife viewing hide on the path known as Lover’s Walk on the east shore. The main habitats are made up of willow carr, reed beds, marshland, woodland and farmland. The area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

  • Notable species: Mute swan, little grebe, great crested grebe, goldeneye, tufted duck, some of which are only present during the winter months. Occasional otter sightings.
  • Rare plants: Various orchids, cowbane and various pondweeds.

Best In:

At all times of the year. Species vary by the season.


NX 76/61
Adjacent to the southern end of Castle Douglas.

How to get there:

By Car:

Turn off the A75 at either end of the Castle Douglas bypass.

By bus service:

Local Service 500, 501 or 502 to Castle Douglas.



  • A footpath takes you around the loch, but not around it entire shoreline as it diverts you away in parts through marshland via a boardwalk and has short distances on public roads.
  • There is a downloadable walking leaflet available on this site covering the Castle Douglas area.
  • A car park, picnic area and tables can be found in Lochside Park, Castle Douglas.
  • One small bird-watching hide (without wheelchair access) overlooking the loch in the south-east bay, along the path known as Lover’s Walk.
  • Various information panels in Lochside Park.
  • A caravan and camping site with public toilets in Lochside Park on the north shore.


Dumfries and Galloway Council Ranger Service

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Photo by John Scott
Whooper Swan
Otter - Infra Red